It’s Halloween and I am a half hour away from playing a gig. We listened to Black Sabbath, Danzig, and The Misfits on the way over to the venue to get in the spirit. A black cat literally crossed my path when we stopped for gas. Here are ten great Halloween albums off the top of my head:
1. The Misfits – Walk Amongst Us
2. Black Sabbath – Masters of Reality
3. The Cure – Pornography
4. Danzig – Danzig
5. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Voodoo Jive: The Best Of
6. Neko Case – Blacklisted
7. Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast
8. Slayer – Reign in Blood
9. BXI (Boris and Ian Asthbury) – BXI ep
10. Julee Cruise – Floating into the Night
I just read that record sales are down 14% this year. It is a shame, because this has actually been a year when a fair amount of good to great records have been released. I don’t understand, especially in a capitalist system, why people don’t understand the idea that artists near to be paid for their work. I mean I think creative people will create no matter how much money they are making. However, if people are investing in their work they will create more and possibly do more groundbreaking work, as making records takes money. Making records that really push the boundaries of what recorded sound can do really takes money! The more you stream or steal, the more you are just going to end up with pop being just elevator music. Music that sounds good in car commercials. Those that make car commercial music are rewarded more than those that make great albums. How sad is that?!!! So if you want there to be a large amount of decent music being made, invest in artists. That is the deal, someone makes something you like that inspires you, spend ten dollars investing in their work. Then there is the possibility that they will make something else that inspires you. That might not always be the case, but anything you invest in has a slight amount of risk involved. In Canada artists often get grants from the government when they start out. That is not going to happen here, not for a long time if ever, in the world of pop music anyway. We need individuals to step up to the plate. Stealing is stealing anyway you cut it, and streaming isn’t paying out like selling records is yet. So there you go, you know who you are? If you value something make a small investment in something. It will lead to more things that you value.
Do you think about when you’re going to die?
I think about it all the time
I watch the days and I walk the line
I wonder when I’m gonna get mine
I knew at an early age
there was no need to be afraid
there was nothing I could change
I was gonna go out strange
going out strange
going out of range
when you know you really know
when it shows it really shows
people say look at that boy he’s going insane
look ma, no plans, I’m going out strange
going out strange
going out of range
bullet brain, go insane
gone away, not afraid
horror mind, terror mind
paranoid, feeling fine
going out strange
Going Out Strange by Rollins Band. This will be my last Rollins Band post for awhile. I have spoken about how I become obsessed with something for a week or two, learn everything I can about it, and then move on. Although my private obsession will probably continue for awhile, I don’t plan on posting anything else here about it. But the title of this song alone has had my brother and I laughing for the last two days. I have been exhausted from touring and canvassing, and he is exhausted from law school, so we have both been joking about “going out strange”.
Life’s Like That, Isn’t It by Larry Kirwan
I vaguely referenced this song in an earlier post. I love this song. Despite it saying Black 47 in the above video, this is actually the version from Larry Kirwan’s solo album. (Kirwan is the lead singer of Black 47.) I actually prefer the version on Black 47’s Elvis Murphy’s Green Suede Shoes, which has become my favorite album by the band. Kirwan is a great writer both in song and in prose. (They’re debut self titled album is definitely worth getting too. It’s hard to pick between the two. Home of the Brave, their third record, has a lot of great material on it, but is a bit overlong and a few clunkers on it.) His biography Green Suede Shoes: An Irish American Odyssey, as I have mentioned before, is one of my favorite rock n roll biographies ever, as Kirwan knows his history as well as his music. I wanted to reprint the lyrics, as they are really powerful, but I could not find them available anywhere. You’ll just have to listen.
I almost wrote a review of the new Jackson Browne today, which I love, but I felt I needed at least one more day of listening to do it justice. I have also been listening to a lot of Rollins Band and Black Flag. This is extremely aggressive music, but it is also really musical. In both bands you have musicians that can flat out play. I know that Henry Rollins is a controversial figure because of things he has said. He has even said things that I deem really stupid at times. But he has made a lot of really great music and, as I have said before, he seems intellectually honest and capable of change. In Black Flag he was picked, but in his own band, when he has picked the musicians he has worked with, his taste has been impeccable. The above is a live version of Tearing from, in my opinion, Rollins Band’s masterpiece, The End of Silence.
In honor of October and the approaching holiday, I thought I would post this song from the Misfits, one of my favorite punk bands. A great deal of The Misfits work sounds like it was recorded in a trash can. However, I view this as actually adding properly to the atmosphere of their work as their lyrics often deal with B-horror movie themes. Their recordings also have never dated because of this. A great deal of the time, although there are exceptions like U2’s Achtung Baby, music that is recorded with the latest technology dates the fastest. Meanwhile, music that sounds primitive often never dates. I am talking strictly from a recording perspective. The Misfits were always one of the best punk bands to me because they had a singer with a truly great voice in Glenn Danzig. The music could be very aggressive at times, but sometimes, although he could scream with the best of them, he would croon, which created a great juxtaposition. They are one of the bands I listened to as a teenager that has never gone out of rotation in my record collection.
I’ve still got to get around to listening to the new Leonard Cohen album enough that I can write a proper review. Right now this is one of my favorite songs off of it. It’s called Did I Ever Love You and it is on the album Popular Problems.